Artefact of the month - September 2010. Coronation Reception Menu Card, 1953
On June 2nd 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The Monarch has always kindly consented to be Patron of ZSL, and so a celebratory reception was held at London Zoo a few days later. This is the menu card from that Coronation Reception. Some of the delicacies are unusual now, such as the ox tongue sandwiches.
The ZSL Annual Report for 1953 states:
"Special arrangements were made to celebrate suitably the year of the Coronation which also was the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Gardens at Regent's Park. An extensive programme of painting, repairs and cleaning was undertaken which effectively counteracted the unavoidable neglect of appearances during and immediately after the war years. For the Coronation Year the Gardens were decorated with bunting and flags and the Gardening Department staged a magnificent display of flowers largely owing to the generosity of some of the well-known bulb firms. For the evening openings floodlights and other illuminations were installed.
On the evening of June 10th the President held a reception to meet Fellows and their guests in honour of the Coronation and the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Gardens. Some 5,000 Fellows and their guests attended and were fortunate in the weather which produced one of the few fine evenings of the period. The Gardens and houses were illuminated and many special attractions were provided. The band of The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards played during the evening and the party was acknowledged as one of the most outstanding and successful in London during the summer."